“It's really rare for people to have a specific sound anymore, but I can always tell when it's her playing guitar. Whenever I try to figure out her guitar parts, they're way harder than they sound,” is what Jeff Tweedy from Wilco said about our curator Cate Le Bon before stating she is “one of the best out there making music now."
Jeff Tweedy is a fan. What more can we say?
In 2009, Le Bon debuted with ‘Me Oh My’, a minimalistic, acoustic-leaning work of art that caused the Welsh singer-songwriter to move away from her heritage by almost fully discarding her Welsh accent. To further her music career, she relocated to Los Angeles and released the liquid-riffed 2013 LP Mug Museum. ‘Crab Day’ (2016) came after spending some time on DRINKS, her side-project with Tim Presley that played Sonic City last year, and incorporated a new working method that she adopted from her sessions with Presley. The album was the ultimate proof of Le Bon’s music being impossible to pigeonhole, always walking the tightrope between krautrock aloofness and heart-breaking tenderness, served with a twinkle in the eye and a lick of Telecaster.
This skilful artistry continues to make itself known on ‘Reward’, her latest release from which glimmers of the biting, tongue-in-cheek and often surrealistic imagery return once more on ‘Sad Nudes’ and the pulsating, cascading ‘Magnificent Gestures’. ‘Mother’s Mother's Magazines’ on the other hand, let’s us think of DRINKS with its loose twanginess of composition and playful lyrics. There’s a stylistic departure from the more classical-sounding keys of ‘Crab Day’ with a shift towards the electronic and more personal approach to song writing. Still, despite all this change Cate holds on to a signature sound by inviting long-time collaborators Stella Mzegawa (of Warpaint) on drums, Stephen Black on bass and saxophone, and Huw Evans and Josh Klinghoffer on guitars.
Always the multi-faced artist, Cate Le Bon curated a line-up of interesting musicians and bands that reflect her own view on music; boundless yet intimate, audacious yet meaningful.